Tony Elves has three bets from Saturday's racing action at Ascot and Newmarket.
Punting on the Flat at this time of the year can sometimes leave you feeling like you have got a hole in the head, with horses either coming to the end of their tether after a busy season, the handicapper catching up, or the greatest imponderable - the ground changing quicker than a Calvin Klein model changes her underwear.
One trainer who has his finger on the pulse on all three accounts is David Simcock and let’s hope that HIGH HOPES can leave the bookmakers with their pants down in the British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Series Middle Distance Handicap (3.25) at Newmarket.
Whether owner Major Michael Wyatt named his Zamindar filly after the Frank Sinatra song that featured in the 1959 Movie “Hole In The Head” remains to be seen but one thing is for certain is that High Hopes is beginning to realise the initial expectations of her. Following an easy win in soft ground at Ffos Las over a mile, in August, she treated the opposition with contempt when beating St Mary’s a length where Jamie Spencer barely moved a muscle in the closing stages of that mile and a quarter contest off a mark of 79. High Hopes has been raised to a mark of 86 and Simcock takes 3lb off for the services of Eddie Greatrex but of greater concern could be the good to firm ground at present.
Let’s hope that is only at present as the weather forecasters are predicting heavy showers in Newmarket early afternoon and that could quite easily swing things in her favour. She looks worth a 2pt investment, with the likelihood she would be taken out if the ground was considered too fast, and should the rain materialise then steam in for more.
The draw at Ascot is another imponderable on some occasions but the first race yesterday over seven furlongs was won by those drawn high and that let’s hope there is no change today where MISS EN ROSE looks worth a bet in the Listed totepool EBF Stallions Breeding Winners October Stakes (2.00).
The Charlie Appleby-trained filly looks an out and out seven furlong specialist and had been working well prior to failing by only a neck behind the progressive Spangled in the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster in September. This represents a slight drop in class and from stall 16 let’s hope she has the pick of the draw. Miss En Rose looks worth a 1pt investment.
Later in the card it could pay to stick with DUTCH LAW in the totescoop6 Challenge Cup (3.40). Trainer Hughie Morrison has got a right tune out of the Raymond Tooth-owned gelding, who has struck up a formidable partnership with 5lb claimer Charlie Bennett and his main concern earlier this week was whether the four-year-old would make the cut for this valuable handicap.
Morrison has his first wish and, although 2lb worse off for the half length he beat Firmament over course and distance at the beginning of last month, Dutch Law may once again have the say and is worth a 1pt each-way wager.